HJ/EDHerald Journal, Jan. 2, 2006

Fire dept. highlights include delivering a baby

By Dave Cox
Staff Writer

New equipment and a new baby were among the highlights for local fire departments in 2005.

“We helped deliver our first baby,” Montrose Fire Chief Mike Marketon said, reflecting on the past year.

The baby delivery in Franklin Township was one of the more than 162 calls that the Montrose Fire Department responded to in 2005.

The department also ordered a new rescue truck to be delivered in the spring.

Howard Lake Fire Chief Joe Drusch said his department responded to between 80 and 90 calls in 2005, which is “about average,” for the city.

Howard Lake has a new truck on order, which will be delivered in 2006.

Drusch said that his department participated in some training with Winsted that covered new airbag systems and hybrid cars.

Mayer Fire Chief Rod Maetzold said his department added six new members this year, bringing the total to 28.

The Mayer Fire Department responded to 76 calls in 2005, and added a new tanker truck.

The department received a $1,700 DNR grant in 2005.

New Germany was able to purchase some new equipment in 2005 using money from a FEMA grant that the department received in 2004.

New Germany Fire Chief Steve VanLith said the department added SCBA’s (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus), extra bottles, boots, and a Cascade system for filling air bottles.

VanLith said that the number of calls the department responded to has remained about the same for the last three or four years.

The only change to department officers was that Shelly Quaas was elected secretary, VanLith said.

The Winsted Fire Department responded to 30 calls in 2005, compared to 48 in 2004.

“This reduction in fire calls is encouraging, and tells us that our fire prevention programs must be working,” Winsted Fire Chief Paul Herbolsheimer said.

In addition to these full response calls, the department responded to 130 medical calls in 2005, compared to 102 calls in 2004.

Herbolsheimer noted that with a growing population, an increase in medical calls is expected.

Winsted added four firefighters to the roster, welcoming back Tim Kosek and Brad Millerbernd, and adding Steve Bahr and Troy Fleischacker.

A FEMA grant allowed the department to purchase new personal protective equipment and SCBAs in June.

Herbolsheimer said that the department also participated in a number of fundraising events throughout the year, including a charity auction to raise money for several worthy causes including the National Bone Marrow Donors Program, CaringBridge, and Gillette Children’s Foundation.

Waverly Fire Chief Mark Karels said he has not yet compiled information on the number of calls his department responded to in 2005.

Karels said that Waverly did not receive any grants or purchase any new equipment during the year.

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